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No respect. Barak
Photo: AFP
Photo: Dudu Azoulay
Avraham Burg
Photo: Dudu Azoulay
New era for Israel’s Left
Op-ed: Following Barak departure from Labor, Israel’s leftist camp should form one large bloc

How can we sum up what happened here Monday? Plenty of press conferences, endlessness commentary, much commotion, and quite a bit of nothing. The significance of this day will become truly known only months from now. Right now everything is fresh; the implications and results will be understood only much later. At this time we can only draw an outline, map the winners and losers, and wait patiently to see how wrong, or right, we were.

 

Let’s start with Barak. If his deal with Bibi includes a pledge to be appointed defense minister in Netanyahu’s next government too, perhaps Barak gained something. He won’t be gaining much respect or public appreciation, so at least he should aim for a good job. The same is true for his political accomplices, as Barak and his four eunuchs are largely dead politically. They were finished as it is, so at best they got an artificial extension of their public lives, but not much beyond that. The Likud Central Committee or Israel’s voters will make sure of that.

 

Netanyahu, as is customary for him, is sly, furtive, and cowardly. Behind closed-doors he’s capable of undertaking all sorts of moves. But so much energy had been invested for nothing. This great move was needed to dispose of Braverman? That was the great horror? Was Netanyahu terrified by Daniel Ben-Simon? Or maybe it’s Herzog? Everyone recites the agreed-upon PR message, “we boosted the coalition.” What nonsense! None of the abovementioned figured even threatened Netanyahu’s shadow, and the problems shall remain intact even after Monday’s trick.

 

The real threat: Lieberman

The prime minister’s cowardice is great as it is, and his weak image had only been reinforced by the end of the day. He is terrified by his own foreign minister, so he rises up and crushes the…Labor party dwarfs. That’s some great deterrent power, no doubt. After all, Netanyahu’s stability hinges on Lieberman and on nobody else. He’s the one who will endorse or topple the government, show impassioned zeal or prefer calm. Lieberman is the embarrassment, the problem, and the threat.

 

This threat had been reinforced by the latest move. Now, the prime minister’s sensitive organs are being held much more tightly in Mr. Lieberman’s clenched first. If he wishes to do so he’ll apply some pressure, and if he wants to he’ll release, just a bit.

 

Then there’s the Left. Friends, this blissful moment shall pass by the time you wake up. This is the time to join forces, clear the leftovers, and embark on a new way. Yet here we see them already returning to the old words and old friends. Enough already. The time has come to establish a real alternative featuring an incisive, precise, and bold Left.

 

Say it clearly: Full Jewish-Arab partnership, without any “buts.” Democracy for all citizens. A complete end to the occupation, without any deals and sophisticated formulae, without blocs, and without leftovers. And a truly social economy. Turn your backs to Barak and establish the Labor-Meretz-Hadash coalition. Embark on a new path. A large leftist bloc against all the rest. Then we’ll see how well they fare against us.

 

 

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